By late Wednesday night, Manny Ramirez was dead to Boston.
That is when Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein polled some of his veteran leaders about a possible Ramirez trade and got the same response - enough is enough, time to cut our losses and move on.
No more Manny taking himself out of the lineup against Felix Hernandez and Joba Chamberlain with an injury that he could not even pinpoint.
Ramirez had an MRI done on both knees at a Boston-ordered exam because he forgot which one was not feeling well, Peter Gammons reported.
"It is like a cleansing breath," one Red Sox executive told the Boston Globe, "just to have that constant cloud out of our clubhouse."
Los Angeles owner Frank McCourt, who once lived in Boston and is a fan of Ramirez, approved general manager Ned Colletti's pursuit, and the three-way deal was agreed to at 12:59:59 MST July 31, according to Pittsburgh.
The deal cost the Red Sox prospects Brandon Moss and Craig Hansen, and they even agreed to pay the $7 million remaining on Ramirez's deal just to get rid of him.
Ramirez's replacement, Jason Bay, got a standing ovation in his first plate appearance for the Red Sox on Friday, a move that had Diamondbacks' players in awe as they watched the Boston game in their clubhouse 30 minutes after Ramirez's circus-like press conference at Dodger Stadium in which he promised to cut his hair, steal more bases and hit the ball to right field.
"Every time I am asked about Boston, I put my brain on pause," Ramirez said.
The Red Sox brain is on relief.
"At the end of the day, you are taking the field with a guy who doesn't want to play with you, doesn't want to be there," Curt Schilling said on his weekly Boston radio show.
"Obviously, effort-wise, (he) is just not there, and that's disheartening and disappointing. The hard part for me was this derailed into a train wreck so fast and so oddly."
NL East contender Florida appeared to be the likely destination for Manny, but the Marlins had their reservations, too.
"When you trade for someone from outside the organization, you never know exactly how somebody is going to integrate into your programs and your clubhouse, etc.," Florida general manager Larry Beinfest said.
"You have to roll the dice on that ... I think chemistry really does matter here because not all the numbers add up for this team. Something is going on."
The Yankees are a prime beneficiary of the deal. Ramirez has a .321 career batting average and 55 homers against them and had absolutely hammered them lately, going 60 of 132 with 25 extra-base hits, 30 walks and 40 RBIs in 39 games since 2006.
"Now it's going to be different, but it doesn't mean it changes the quality of their team," said the Yankees' Mike Mussina, who gave up three homers in six at-bats to Manny this year.
Bay has glowing reviews, Houston catcher Brad Ausmus telling the Boston Globe: "He's the most underrated player in the National League. He can run, hit, hit for power, play defense. He's not the accomplished hitter Manny is, but he can do a lot of things Manny doesn't bring to the table."
And that seems to be exactly what the Sox wanted.
The New York Mets may have been idle at the trade deadline, but that does not mean they did not benefit.
Atlanta and Pittsburgh likely will be worse with the losses of Mark Teixeira and Jason Bay, respectively, and the Mets have 14 games remaining against those teams, the most of any NL contender.
Writers from around the country contributed to this report.